How to Throw an Off the Charts Labor Day BBQ


As much as I can’t wait for fall, I still love a good summer BBQ. So, last weekend, Bryan and I soaked up some sun and had a pool and BBQ day at my in-laws’ house. The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and quality time with family is always nice. The day was filled with all the essentials for an amazing BBQ.

Now, I’m no pro at all when it comes to grilling {I leave that for Bryan}, but I do know how to throw a pretty decent get-together. I’m already planning some fun dinner parties in my head for this fall. So today, I wanted to share with you some fun tips and tricks for throwing an off the charts Labor Day BBQ to end your summer. 

labor day bbq tips

1. Crank Up the Tunes

A party isn’t a party without some tunes. Am I right?! Otherwise, you have that awkward silence that no one likes, or you have your dad swaying along to whatever song is in his head. HA! Maybe that’s just my dad. But anyway, you get the point. Music can make or break a party, so choose wisely.

You want something that’s trendy but not too trendy, so remember to throw in some oldies! Everyone loves a little “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and “Waterfalls” by TLC. Keep things interesting by switching it up a bit. Don’t play all of the same type of music. Side note: my FAVORITE song of the moment is “Closer” by The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey. I go nuts when it comes on the radio. 

labor day bbq tips

labor day bbq tips

2. Start with a Fresh and Delicious App

Usually it takes a while for the main course to be all grilled and ready to go, so make sure to start the party off with some appetizers. Last weekend, my mother-in-law made this bruschetta recipe from the Pioneer Woman and it was so delicious. I used to think bruschetta was just a way to eat lots of bread, but this recipe changed my mind. I could have had spoonfuls of just the bruschetta. No bread needed. My MIL used fresh tomatoes from their garden, which I’m convinced made this dish that much more amazing. Obviously, we can’t all grow tomatoes in our back yards {especially if you live in an apt like me}, but buy organic because you can really taste the difference.  

I also really love these simple jalapeño poppers. They have just the right amount of heat, and are SO delicious. 

labor day bbq tips

3. Get the Grill Goin’

Ok, time to get grillin! Since I’m a pescetarian, I don’t eat hotdogs and hamburgers at BBQs. If I’m craving a veggie burger, I’ll have that, but I usually eat shrimp or fish. {Apologies to anyone who I’m BBQ-ing with that hates the smell of seafood.} The takeaway here, my friends, is to make sure you have something for everyone. 

Don’t forget about the side dish! My father-in-law made this amazing cheesy corn dish, and I have to share the recipe with you today. If you make it, comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Cheesy Corn on the Cob
Serves 4
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. 4 ears of corn, shucked
  2. 1/8 cup mayo
  3. 1/8 cup sour cream
  4. 3/4 cup cotija cheese, shredded
  5. garlic powder, to taste
  6. onion powder, to taste
  7. paprika, to taste
  8. lime zest
  1. Wrap each corn on the cob in foil and place on the grill.
  2. Grill for 15-18 minutes, until the corn is tender. Turn the corn frequently.
  3. While corn is grilling, in a small bowl, mix mayo and sour cream. Set aside.
  4. Take corn off grill and unwrap corn from foil.
  5. Brush mayo/sour cream mixture on corn, and sprinkle with cotija cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and lime zest.
  6. Serve immediately.
Simply Nicole
labor day bbq tips

labor day bbq tips

labor day bbq tips
4. Keep the Liquid Flowing

The fastest way to get sick is to sit in the sun all day without drinking any liquids. And that doesn’t mean load up on the alcohol! It’s important to drink water with whatever cocktail you’re having. Unfortunately for me though, I hate the taste of water. Is that weird? I don’t know what it is, but it pains me to drink plain water.

So, in order to make things interesting, I love adding lots of fruit and herbs. My all-time favorite is The Immune Refresher {click the link to get the recipe!}. I also love iced mint tea or iced green tea with peaches. All three of these drinks are awesome options for a labor day BBQ. 

// What’s your favorite Labor Day BBQ recipe? What are your plans for the upcoming holiday?



  1. September 1, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    This post is a GOLD MINE! Just pinned it! So glad I found you! As for my favorite recipe, I think I may make the last recipe I posted on my blog: Orange Cranberry Quinoa Salad, this weekend. Maybe with some nice steaks! Hey, I saw you’re in Philly! I’m originally from the Phila Suburb area and I live in Central PA now! YAY for PA girls!

    • September 2, 2016 / 10:49 am

      Hey Allie! Thank you so much for your kind comment 🙂

      I’m headed over to check your blog now.

      YAY for PA gals!

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